A Woods tent on our Winisk River trip in 1999. (Photo - Michael Peake)
Next to canoes, tents are the most critical item we take for the simple fact that we spend more time in them than any place else. We generally encounter extreme weather conditions on our northern trips and need tents that can withstand punishing conditions -- on this trip, high winds will "fall" off the Labrador highlands and funnel through the fiords, reaching speeds well in excess of 100 kilometers per hour.
We are hardly what you would call weight-conscious when it comes to choosing gear (after all, we are taking a generator this trip!) and we aren't little guys. Our tents are selected for their durability, comfort, and, of course, overall roominess -- much like a chicken suit. There is nothing worse than being windbound for days and playing Creights
in a tent barely big enough airspace for one person.
Our overall favorite design over the years has been the North Face Pole Sleeve Oval, a three person mountaineering tent -- and it's larger cousin, the four-person Himalayan Hotel (which serves as our central meeting room and basketball court). This year we will be taking the Hotel and two modified 2-3 man tents from Woods, the Coppermine River.
We also carry a 12 x 16 foot tarp that is used as a windbreak or cooking shelter when conditions are wet (and not too windy). It has also come in handy as a sunscreen on some of our Barrenlands trips when the temperatures can soar to over 30°C.